Recently, I read an editorial written by Tae Kim over at GamePro. Basically Tae (and a few others) are saying the same thing that I've been saying for years—most games are too long without the content to support such length, and that story-driven games in particular would benefit from being tighter and more focused. I'm glad to see that this idea is starting to pop up more and more, because it's true. However, there's a bit of a spin to Tae's piece, and this little twist is something I have an issue with.
This week, it's some good old fashioned game talk. Amnesia The Dark Descent! Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker! Alan Wake! Plus: Games are too buggy, Richard sings (twice), and stay tuned after the credits for some impromptu Halo: Reach chat. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "Let's Grow a Beard Together" Spaeth.
In a nutshell, Faery: Legends of Avalon is a very simple, straightforward RPG done in classic style. The player takes on the role of a fairy who must help save rapidly-dwindling magical lands being eroded by a world of non-believers. Quests are of the "talk to X, go to Y, do Z, talk to X again" variety and combat is a streamlined turn-based system. If you've ever played an RPG, then you know what this is all about. It's basic, basic stuff. While the general lack of complexity might be seen as a negative in most cases, I have to say that it's appealing here.
After rolling credits for both the main campaign and the Overtime mode that comes after, my thoughts about the game are basically the same—it's a note-for-note reproduction of the original with a much gentler difficulty curve and a create-a-weapon mechanic that doesn't feel like a good fit for the schedule-oriented structure of play.
Game Description: Enslaved is a post-apocalyptic retelling of the classic 400-year old novel "Journey to the West". Set 150 years from now, the world has been ruined by war and ecological disaster with only a handful of survivors remaining. In Enslaved, players take on the role of Monkey, a strong and athletic, yet solitary figure, who been captured by one of the mysterious slave ships, which harvest the remaining population and take them out west never to return. Trip, a technologically savvy young woman who has also been imprisoned by the same ship, manages to escape. She quickly realizes that Monkey, with his raw strength and power, is her only hope to survive the perilous journey back to her home. She hacks into a slave headband and fits it on Monkey, linking them together – if she dies, he dies… Her journey has now become his and Monkey must now travel west alongside Trip as they traverse a demolished world, under constant threat of capture and mortal peril.
Game Description: Celebrate the joy of play in Toy Story 3: The Video Game! Fans can play as Buzz, Woody or Jessie as they run, ride and fly through scenes inspired by the upcoming release of the Disney-Pixar animated film, Toy Story 3. Experience key moments, interact with new and returning characters, and visit locations seen in the film. The unique Toy Box mode allows players to unleash their imagination and creativity in a new open world and play with Andy’s toys their way. As Buzz, Woody or Jessie, players can choose what activities they want to do and the order they wish to do them. The more they use their imagination and create their own story, the more they get rewarded.
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